The VA San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS) provides health care using sophisticated technologies to more than 230,000 veterans in San Diego and the Imperial Valley. Founded in 1969, the hospital was built on 26 acres of land that was formerly Camp Calvin B. Matthews, a rifle range for the Marine Corps. Today, the VA Hospital Substance Abuse rehabilitation program is a cooperative effort with the University of California San Diego Medical Center for Behavioral Health. Nearly every staff member and clinician within the VA Alcohol Research and Dual Diagnosis Program is also a faculty member at UC San Diego.
Accommodations and Food
The Drug and Alcohol Program is a 29-bed unit within the Veteran Hospital. Four clients share each room in single beds. The rooms are large and each has its own private bathroom. In addition, there is a gym and a community room, complete with a pool table and TV.
The meals are prepared by the hospital kitchen. All of them are healthy and balanced, and the menu is eclectic. A wide range of dietary restrictions are accommodated, including kosher meals, vegetarian and any food allergies or food sensitivities. In addition to the three meals per day, clients can buy snacks or other meals in the hospital cafeteria.
Treatment and Staff
The residential program is staffed by two attending physicians, a senior resident, medical students, substance abuse counselors, nurses and social workers. The UCSD Alcohol Research Program and Dual Diagnosis program bases much of its research out of the ADTP. As part of the substance abuse program, clients receive complete medical and psychiatric care in addition to evidence-based treatment. Individual treatment teams are assigned to each resident and group and individual therapy sessions are available with an emphasis on CBT. In addition, pharmacological treatment is supervised by psychiatrists, and electroconvulsive treatment (ECT) is also available for those who might benefit. After graduating, clients attend continuing care where psychiatric residents follow-up with them for the next two years.
There are many medical and psychiatric resources available at the hospital for any clients who have needs other than substance abuse treatment. All staff members at the facility have access to state-of-the-art technologies, and clients get treatment from specialist physicians and psychiatric specialists for co-occurring disorders.
In all, the San Diego VA Hospital Drug and Alcohol program is a much-needed resource for veterans struggling with addiction who wish to combat their substance abuse in a friendly and familiar environment. With a comprehensive program operated by highly qualified medical clinicians and researchers in partnership with UCSD, clients are sure to receive optimal care.
VA Hospital Alcohol and Drug Program
San Diego VAMC, 2nd Floor, North Wing
San Diego, CA 92161
San Diego VA Hospital Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program Cost: Free for veterans (30 days). Reach San Diego VA Hospital Alcohol and Drug Treatment by phone at (858) 552-7560. Find San Diego VA Hospital Facebook and LinkedIn
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